Paralegals are also commonly referred to as legal assistants. They assist attorneys with performing various legal tasks. Although, there are no specific requirements to establish a career as a paralegal, students with a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies or those who possess law degrees have more and better jobs prospects. There is an abundance of job opportunities for trained paralegals in the US.
Paralegal Requirements for Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree Programs
To be able to enroll in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, a student needs to have at least a high schools diploma or GED certificate. However, the exact paralegal requirements vary from school to school. Some schools may also offer internship option for the students which provides them with practical experience in the paralegal work.
Paralegal Requirements for Certification Programs
Liberty University Online
Students who already have a bachelor’s degree in some other specialization can enroll in paralegal certification programs. These trainings span over a few months and enable students to pursue a career in paralegal. It is important to know that most employers prefer to hire students with certifications in paralegal studies. Students can enroll in Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) certification programs. On the other hand, paralegals with a bachelor’s degree plus 2 years minimum experience in paralegal can enroll in the Paralegal Advanced Competency test and receive a certification of a Registered Paralegal.
Paralegal Requirements: The Skills Needed To Become a Successful Paralegal
In order to establish a career as paralegal and find a prolific job, a student must also possess some skills which are imperative for this profession.
- Research skills. Individuals who have research skills certainly have an edge over the paralegals that do not possess these qualities. As the responsibilities of a paralegal involve research work around law libraries, online archives as well as fieldworks, having this skill is a great plus for any professional in paralegal.
- Communication skills. As much work of paralegals revolves around written communicating and documentation, having a good grasp of writing is one of the most important paralegal requirements. Also, paralegals have to have good speaking skills to effectively communicate with the attorneys and clients.
Paralegal Requirements on the Job
A paralegal is required to do a number of tasks. He assists the lawyers in preparing for trails and hearings. Report writing and filing for cases also fall under his responsibility. Estate planning and preparing employee contracts are some other paralegal requirements on the job.
Paralegal as a Career
Paralegals can find employment in various sectors of law. These include:
- Banking legal departments
- Real estate developers
- Private law firms
- Accountancy firms
- Government departments
By fulfilling the paralegals requirements for degree or certificate programs, you can earn professional recognition needed to pursue a career in this field. On average, paralegals can make up to $71,500 annually.